This is a short summary of one of the articles from Webzine SILKROADIA VOL.4 NO.1. For more specialized information, please download our Webzine and read "China's Belt and Road Initiative Under Challenge to Overcome Conflicts" written by Alina Ivanova, a Masters of Science in Asian and International History from the London School of Economics, UK.
The countries along the Silk Roads have always relied on an intricate web of connectedness, though with centuries of change in their relationships. The concepts of conflict and peace along such a vast region can seem hard to define, hence, this article will attempt to elucidate the challenges and promises along the Silk Roads as the foundation for peace through one of the most significant modern projects that the world has seen, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), with its important economic and political implications. First, one has to look at the premise of the BRI itself regarding the Silk Roads region, with its stated pledges and visions. Then, the concrete, real world execution and the challenges faced in the recipient countries by the initiative have to be examined as individual cases. Notably, close attention has to be paid to the complex issues raised by the increasing debt of the involved countries towards China, raising concerns about ‘debt-trap diplomacy’ and rising political pressure concerning social issues. Therefore, these matters raise the question: Is the BRI an answer to the problems faced by the Silk Roads region or another form of conflict between a major power and weaker parties?
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